Mathematics Today: December 2004
“While I was a guest at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn during the summer of 2004, I came across the following interesting Roman item:
Figure 1: Roman dodecahedron from the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn
This is a Roman dodecahedron made of bronze, dating from the 2nd or 3rd century A.D., which was found in the vicinity of modern Bonn. It has small spherical objects at each of its vertices, and at the centre of each of its faces is a circular hole. Also on the faces are small circles, arranged in the shape of a pentagon around the circular hole.
About 100 of these curious objects have been found, from England in the north and Hungary in the east to Italy, with the greatest number discovered in the west of Germany and in France. They appear in various contexts, and have been constructed of several materials, such as bronze and stone.
No-one knows what they were used for. They are never mentioned in contemporary literature and do not appear in any surviving pictures of the time. Various conjectures exist as to their use, from being used to calibrate the size of water pipes, through candle holders (wax was found in one of them) to army parade standard bases, however, the most widely-held theory is that they were religious artefacts of some sort, possibly used in rites derived from Celtic sources. This last hypothesis has been suggested because the dodecahedra have mostly been found in Gallo-Roman sites.
There are some references available in the archaeological literature, such as ; the standard book reference is , which is in Flemish with a French summary, and a slightly newer treatise is , which is in German (although many of the facts in this book are summarised in Artmann’s book on Euclid . One of the few recent references in the mathematical literature (which is in English) is a short note which is also by Artmann .
Several years ago Dr. Jamie Gutierrez from Columbia discovered the fossilized bones of two human hands imbedded in Cretaceous rock.
Near the discovery site of the fossilized hands are the fossilized bones of a large Ichthyosaurus marine dinosaur, giving the assignment of late Cretaceous period (on the evolutionary scale) to the rock. CreationLecture
Evolution Trap: Fossils That Must Not Exist
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The recent discovery of strange artefacts was made in Columbia. Prof. Jaime Gutierrez, a professor and industry designer at the University of BogotÃƒÂ¡ found these fossillized hands.
They clearly show the evidence of the segments of the bones of the f ngers. They are merged with the stone.
Together with those hands also fossils and relics of dinosaurs have been found. All of them have been in a geological stratum that is (thought by science to be) between 100 and 130 million years old.
But according to science and DarwinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s theory of evolution it is absolutely impossible that men lived together with dinosaurs. But how could such petrifaction of human hands come about? Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Unsolved Mysteries
Intricate ivory carvings said to be the oldest known examples of figurative art have been uncovered in a cave in southwestern Germany.
The artefacts – including a figurine depicting a Lowenmensch (‘lion man’) – have been carbon-dated to around 30,000 years ago, when some of the earliest known relatives of modern humans populated Europe. Discovered last year by a team led by US archaeologist Nicholas Conard of the University of TÃƒÂ¼bingen in Germany, at the Hohle Fels cave near Ulm, the objects include figures depicting a horse and a bird.
Conard says he thinks that the figures are older than a previously discovered Lowenmensch, fragments of which were found by German archaeologists in 1939 near Vogelherd and dated to about the same time. Until now, those artefacts were accepted as the oldest examples of figurative art in the world. The newly discovered objects are older, Conard argues, as they were uncovered at a lower level in the cave floor’s sediments.
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